DAMBUSTERS - THE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION
Collectors Edition (SEVEN signatures)
by Robert Taylor
Overall Print Size: 36" x 21"
Edition Size: 350
"As we came over the hill we saw the Mohne Lake. Then we saw the dam itself. In that light it looked squat, and heavy, and unconquerable." (Squadron Leader Guy Gibson) All was peace and quiet in the Ruhr valley on the night of 16/17 May, 1943. At the Mohne, Sorpe, and Ennepe Dams situated along the river's tributaries, and the Eder Dam to the east, bright moonlight illuminated the night sky. The normally dark waters of the reservoirs - huge lakes held back by the mighty dams - glinted brightly in the moonshine, their calm reflections stretching away towards the distant hills. To the flak gunners on duty, relaxing in their turrets, it was a scene of tranquility, even beauty. In any case, they were sure the sky was too dangerously bright for a visit from the RAF on that starry night. Their reverie was rudely interrupted at 0020 hours when a Lancaster, flown by Guy Gibson, made a dummy run over the Mohne Dam to test the defenses. Quickly springing to action, anti-aircraft flak and machine guns concentrated their fire on the aircraft, green, yellow, and red tracer reflecting on the surface of the lake. The gunners still had no idea what was to come. Unscathed, Gibson called up the five aircraft in his flight, in preparation for the attack. During the next few minutes he and the crews of No. 617 Squadron were to complete one of the most daring raids in the annuls of air warfare, and overnight acquire lasting legendary status. Following Gibson's lead, one-by-one they flew their heavily modified Lancasters into a curtain of deadly gunfire, somehow maintaining a precise height of 60 feet and speed of 230 mph - both calibrated to allow their Barnes Wallis designed bouncing bomb to strike the dam wall, sink, and explode. The rest is history.
"DAMBUSTERS - THE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION" is an aviation masterpiece which captures the very essence of the Dams raids carried out more than 60 years ago: "Dinghy" Young, flying Lancaster AJ-A, heading through flak and machine gun fire towards the Mohne Dam at precisely 60 feet, has just released his cylindrical, hydrostatically-triggered bouncing bomb - clearly visible against the huge splash created as it hits the water. Above, Mick Martin, having already made his bombing run, courageously returns over the target with navigation lights switched on, to help draw enemy fire away from Young's aircraft. The mighty Mohne Dam has but moments to live.
In addition to the artist this print has been personally signed in pencil by SEVEN veterans who took part in the Dambusters Raid:
- Sergeant RAYMOND E. GRAYSTON
- Squadron Leader GEORGE L. JOHNSON DFM
- Squadron Leader LES MUNRO DSO DFC RNZAF
- Sergeant FREDERICK E. SUTHERLAND RCAF
- Flight Sergeant GRANT S. McDONALD RCAF
- Corporal BECK PARSONS
- Corporal KENNETH LUCAS
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.